JODY HOLTON — Health battles persistent illness – Port Arthur Information

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If you have a chronic illness – like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, or back or joint pain – exercise can have important health benefits.

However, it is important that you speak to your doctor before starting the fitness program. He or she will advise you on which exercises are safe and what precautions you may need to take while exercising. Never start a fitness program without your doctor’s advice.

If you live with a chronic condition, regular exercise can help you relieve symptoms and improve your health.

Aerobic exercise can help improve your heart health and stamina, and help you lose weight. Strength training can improve muscle strength and endurance, make daily activities easier, slow down disease-related decreases in muscle strength, and provide stability to the joints. Flexibility exercises can help you achieve the optimal range of motion for your joints to function optimally, and stability exercises can help reduce the risk of falls.

Specifically:

Heart disease. Regular exercise can help improve your heart health. Recent studies have shown that interval training is often well tolerated in people with heart disease and can provide significant benefits.

Diabetes. Regular exercise can help insulin lower your blood sugar levels more effectively. Physical activity can also help control your weight and increase your energy levels.

Asthma. Exercise can often help control the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

Back pain. Regular, low-impact aerobic activity can increase the strength and endurance of your back, and improve muscle function. Abdominal and back muscle exercises (core strengthening exercises) can help relieve symptoms by strengthening the muscles around your spine.

Arthritis. Exercise can relieve pain, maintain muscle strength in affected joints, and decrease joint stiffness.

Your doctor may recommend certain movements to relieve pain or build strength. Depending on your condition, you may also need to avoid certain exercises entirely or during the flare-up. In some cases, you may need to consult a physical therapist or occupational therapist before starting any exercise.

For example, if you have lower back pain, you can choose low-impact aerobic activities like walking and swimming. These types of activities won’t strain or jar your back.

If you have exercise-related asthma, you can choose to do activities that involve short bursts of activity – such as exercising. B. tennis or baseball. If you use an inhaler, keep it close at hand while you exercise.

If you have arthritis, the exercises that are most suitable for you will depend on the type of arthritis and the joints affected. Work with your doctor or physical therapist to create an exercise plan that will give you the most benefit with the least amount of joint deterioration.

Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend certain precautions before exercising.

For example, if you have diabetes, keep in mind that physical activity lowers blood sugar. Check your blood sugar level before any activity.

If you are taking insulin or diabetes medications that lower blood sugar, you may need to have a snack before you workout to avoid low blood sugar.

If you have arthritis, take a warm shower before exercising. Heat can relax your joints and muscles and relieve any pain before you begin. Also, be sure to choose shoes that provide shock absorption and stability during exercise.

Pay particular attention to signs or symptoms of complications while exercising.

Start slowly and gradually build up the intensity. To stay motivated, choose activities that are fun, set realistic goals, and celebrate your progress.

Ask your doctor and take the first step towards fitness. Stay safe my friends.

Jody Holton writes about health for Port Arthur Newsmedia. She can be reached at jholton3@gt.rr.com.